Well, so much for my predictive abilities
current mood: blah
How embarrassing. My original NFL playoff picks at the start of this season, with their final records (original entry):
NFC East: Dallas Cowboys (Final record: 9-7, 3rd place, did not make playoffs)
NFC North: Green Bay Packers (Final record: 6-10, 3rd place, did not make playoffs)
NFC South: New Orleans Saints (Final record: 8-8, last place, did not make playoffs)
NFC West: Seattle Seahawks (Final record: 4-12, 3rd place, did not make playoffs)
NFC Wild Card: Minnesota Vikings (Final record: 10-6, 1st place, #3 seed in playoffs)
NFC Wild Card: New York Giants (Final record: 12-4, 1st place, #1 seed and home-field advantage throughout playoffs)
AFC East: New England Patriots (Final record: 11-5, 2nd place, missed playoffs in final weekend of season)
AFC North: Cleveland Browns (Final record: 4-12, last place, did not make playoffs)
AFC South: Indianapolis Colts (Final record: 12-4, 2nd place, made playoffs as wild card and #5 seed)
AFC West: San Diego Chargers (Final record: 8-8, 1st place, #4 seed in playoffs)
AFC Wild Card: Pittsburgh Steelers (Final record: 12-4, 1st place, #2 seed with first-round bye in playoffs)
AFC Wild Card: Houston Texans (Final record: 8-8, 3rd place, did not make playoffs)
Actual playoff teams (listed by seed):
1. New York Giants (12-4, NFC East champs)
2. Carolina Panthers (12-4, NFC South champs)
3. Minnesota Vikings (10-6, NFC North champs)
4. Arizona Cardinals (9-7, NFC West champs
5. Atlanta Falcons (11-5, NFC Wild Card)
6. Philadelphia Eagles (9-6-1, NFC Wild Card)
1. Tennessee Titans (13-3, AFC South champs)
2. Pittsburgh Steelers (12-4, AFC North Champs) (*gag*)
3. Miami Dolphins (11-5, AFC East Champs)
4. San Diego Chargers (8-8, AFC West champs)
5. Indianapolis Colts (12-4, AFC Wild Card)
6. Baltimore Ravens (11-5, AFC Wild Card)
Bottom line: 5 out of 12 playoff teams predicted correctly, 1 out of 8 division winners predicted correctly.
In my defense, who could have seen the complete collapse of the Browns? The coaching staff and management are worse than I thought and half the team is injured. I believe they were down to their sixth-string quarterback, who is a guy who used to deliver newspapers in Shaker Heights.
I guess on the semi-bright side, getting shut out by the AFC's number 2 seat is slightly better than getting shut out by Cincinnati, which was truly a new low. Then again, I don't think there can really be a bright side to losing to the Steelers.
To make matters worse, the Browns did not even score an offensive touchdown in their last six games--in fact, their only (defensive) touchdown at all was a return off an interception against the Eagles. For the first time in history, they were shut out in two consecutive games.
I'm inclined to think of Casey Stengel, who, when he managed the New York Mets, was asked after a loss what he thought of his team's execution. Stengel replied that he thought it would be a good idea.
The Browns have already fired General Manager Phil Savage, who famously replied to an email from a fan by saying "Well go fucking root for Buffalo then". I guess now Mr. Savage can go work for Buffalo if he wants.
Next Weekend's Playoff Match-ups (First-round)
Philadelphia at Minnesota
Atlanta at Arizona
Baltimore at Miami
Indianapolis at San Diego